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Vent? JAWM? Need solace? Teens learning to drive — how to relax? Or commiserate with me?


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Tell me more about how to relax as passenger with new teen drivers! 

Today we went on windy country roads with narrow edges and guard rails and a hill enough to make my ears pop.  3rd time for Ds. His first time was with his professional drive instructor. So at least I am no longer the one to introduce new steps in driving.

Logically he’s doing fine  —

and he turned on classical music for me (though I thought it sounded a little funereal). 

However,   I am still hanging on to the door grip.  

Well, no. Hanging onto door grip literally was several hours ago, but I still feel like my  cortisol is up. 

.

 Frankly I don’t like that sort of road much at all no matter who’s driving.  And get a little queasy 🤢feeling even if I’m the driver.  

Apparently Ds  loves that sort of road. 

Otoh I am starting to be able to relax on 55mph straighter flatter areas.  💆‍♀️

Sigh.  

Each little bit I get comfortable with ... a new harder thing arises... like merging on to freeways will be soon.   

Sigh.  

 

Also, what are good things to talk about while driving?  He doesn’t like me to talk about driving unless something is critical.  I don’t like to talk about what type of guard rail is flimsiest.  

We managed to talk about asphalt for a while...  can’t say I’ve ever had a conversation about asphalt before.  

 

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Yeah. 16yo dd is the 4th one to learn to drive here and I'm just over it. I just want to get in a car and drive myself wherever it is I want to go. If I could pay someone to do ALL the driving with her, I would. We haven't been on the freeway yet because her steering is . . .in  need of improvement.  When she adjust her glasses or scratches her nose the whole car goes along for the ride.

She does okay with the radio on, though it's not a comfort that she says it helps keep her awake.  She gets very chatty when driving and we talk about all sorts of things. Like how that curve felt a roller coaster.

 I try to notice and compliment things like tonight while pulling into the driveway she hit the button to roll up the windows at the same time. I was like, "Someone's gettin' fancy!" 

Our major route to civilization is a windy road with narrow edges and guardrails, so I get you. 

*Sigh* is right.

Edited by AbcdeDooDah
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Ugh. Right there with you. I don’t even try to talk about anything other than driving. We’re still the stage where that needs full attention. I’m impressed you’re able to relax while going 55. 

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I feel your pain. I would rather potty-train an army of toddlers than teach one teen to drive. But - it is what it is. 

I don’t think there should be much talking at this point. The teen brain, with its puny frontal lobe (😂) needs to focus and remember the steps. Conversation comes later, after the brain switches the task of driving to...I’m forgetting the actual scientific name, but, automatic memory. Tasks you don’t have to think about in order to perform. That comes later; talking should be minimal for now. 

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4 hours ago, frogger said:

I'm teaching my third driver and all that I can say is, "If you find a way to relax, that's not illegal or unhealthy, please let me know."

This.  So much this.
I will say I started to relax when ds got more confident and alert and responsive to the road instead of looking like he had a death grip and was scared of everything.  Our hazards here range from young, puffed up turkeys who don't have the good sense to move to golf carts zipping across the main road to reach the other side of the course.  It took him a while to deal with those things as they come and learn how to keep a good eye open.
Even so, there is a well worn spot on the passenger side rug where I have tried to brake while calmly giving the kid instruction. 😄

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My boys are 21, 19, and 16 so I feel like I have been in new driver mode for six straight years. I now get jumpy and critical no matter who is driving when I’m in the passenger seat. Dh is a good driver but I still see every possible danger or issue lurking when I ride with him now. I catch myself trying to correct my sister when I ride with her and she is 40 yo. So I’m pretty traumatized. 

No advice other than try to find someone else to do some of it. I wanted my third one to go to driving school but he didn’t want to and it seemed too expensive to justify. Dh did more with the youngest than he did with the two older ones but it still falls on me because I am the one here all the time.

My oldest was a natural and I thought I was a super chill new driver mom. But my next two wore me out. Middle child was bad and also antagonistic. Third child was bad but sweet so that was a little better.

I kind of gave up on second child and he only drove to a few places close by in high school. Now he is in college far away and driving all over a major city. I wish he had practiced more at home. Youngest is 16 and has had his license about six months (and his permit for a year before that). He really was terrible at first. Really bad. I thought for awhile we were just going to have to give up for a year because I just couldn’t take it. But we kept at it and he actually is now a really really good driver. 

So I have no advice other than to hang in there. Find someone else to practice with him if possible. It really is nerve wracking but I feel so much better about my youngest one driving now. I regret letting my middle one drive so little while he was home. It has increased my worry about him driving around a metro area 500 miles away. 

Edited by teachermom2834
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When my kids were learning to drive, we didn't have very many conversations in the beginning.  It was more of a running commentary from me --- Be sure to watch for people backing out of their driveways, don't focus on one thing 100% but keep your eyes open for movement, etc, etc. I'm pretty sure I was annoying. 

To me it was like being in the dentist chair. I would notice I was tense, remind myself to relax, and 30 second later I would notice I was tense again, repeat. 

I only had two to teach. Dad rode with each one once and did not want to help at all any more. He expressed concern that either would ever learn to drive. Many, many hours later, I think both are decent drivers, but we spent a lot of hours working on it. 

I did joke with my dh that I deserved a brand new car after teaching both to drive. We usually do not purchase new cars, so it really was a joke. But, still, I do think I deserve one. 

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I'm teaching my second.  I think there is a permanent dent in the floor board from me "braking".  They just don't stop gradually enough for my taste. But I've told both them about the bad car accident I was in at 14 and the fact of the matter certain movements in the car trigger that memory for me.  And yes young driver's trigger that memory a lot.  But I will say by 3rd time out, there is no way I'd be in a car going 55.  First lesson is a parking lot, and the next 15 hours or so are driving around subdivisions and then we work up to the 35 limit streets.  You are much braver than I letting them on back country roads (but I live in the city so we have to seek out winding roads so I just don't until much later). I don't think it's possible to relax while teaching new driver's, it more like just get through it.

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Ugh, yeah.  I have 2 I practice with.  Ds should have gotten his license this summer, but didn't practice parallel parking.  Dd is doing well, except when she isn't.  Yesterday, she started out distracted and got frustrated at me when I yelled, "STOP!"  She actually said, "it's not my fault I didn't see him."ACK

Anyway, I make dh do the practice when I can.  I do my breathing exercises.  I try to hold my tongue at small things.  I verbalize what she is doing well (for both our benefits.)  I have found that driving the same route multiple times is good for both of us.  She gets confident and drives it well, which helps me relax and have emotional energy to try new routes.

I have 2 more kids to go.  I really want dd to get her license soon so that I can actually benefit from having a child home with a license (ds probably won't be home much with a license--although maybe next summer. . . .)  That might make it worth it other than the parental duty preparing for adulthood part of it.  I need hands on practical rewards right now for the emotional trauma it induces.

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I can commiserate. Or, I will be able to in a month. DS gets his permit in a month. Right now he is parking my car in our garage and backing it out and driving my parents’ pickup truck all over the back avenues of their ranch. He’s actually a good driver, he seems to have a feel for accelerating and braking and turning. And he’s not a maniac. So, that’s good. But I am not looking forward to driving on real roads with him.

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Oh, I get you! Freeway merging with a teen is more of an adrenaline rush than sky diving!! Makes you feel ALIVE!

My son got his license this summer, and he’s easier to ride with now, but just yesterday he said “I can see you gripping the door - it doesn’t help!” Haha!

We just moved from very small town to a much bigger city, but I think his actual driving circle will be safer here. In the small town, he had to drive on the freeway to get to school. In this bigger city, we are way out in the suburbs and his drive to school is just a couple turns on easy side roads.  I actually followed him to his new school this morning (to make sure he could find it on his own without me sitting right there) and he did great.

Unfortunately, the route we practiced yesterday had a detour today, but he still managed to find his way!

Good luck! You can do this!!

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1 hour ago, teachermom2834 said:

My boys are 21, 19, and 16 so I feel like I have been in new driver mode for six straight years. I now get jumpy and critical no matter who is driving when I’m in the passenger seat. Dh is a good driver but I still see every possible danger or issue lurking when I ride with him now. I catch myself trying to correct my sister when I ride with her and she is 40 yo. So I’m pretty traumatized. 

 

I have a 47 year old friend who drives a bit more wildly than I do.  I used to just ignore it since I’m in a car with her only a couple of times a year.  But after these past few months with a new driver, it was all I could do not to blurt out, “Watch out for that car!” or “Slow down sooner, please!” when she drove me around this past Saturday.

20 minutes ago, freesia said:

Ugh, yeah.  I have 2 I practice with.  Ds should have gotten his license this summer, but didn't practice parallel parking.  Dd is doing well, except when she isn't.  Yesterday, she started out distracted and got frustrated at me when I yelled, "STOP!"  She actually said, "it's not my fault I didn't see him."ACK

My son does that kind of thing.  He almost smashed into a stopped car that was preparing to parallel park because “Well, I thought he was going to pull foward to park, and not back up so I figured he’d get out of my way..”  And I’m like, ‘Red brake lights and stopped car in ftont of you means you slow down and stop, too.”  He didn’t even slow down, just kept barreling toward the STOPPED CAR IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD.  You can’t assume what the other driver might do in the future if they’re STOPPED RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU. YOU HAVE TO STOP, TOO.   (I’m yelling here because I can’t yell at my son.  Thank you for indulging.)

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Anyway, I make dh do the practice when I can.  I do my breathing exercises.  I try to hold my tongue at small things.  I verbalize what she is doing well (for both our benefits.)  I have found that driving the same route multiple times is good for both of us.  She gets confident and drives it well, which helps me relax and have emotional energy to try new routes.

Yes, good idea about going on the same route a few times (especially the part about having time for the driving instructor to regroup her emotional energy!)

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I have 2 more kids to go.  I really want dd to get her license soon so that I can actually benefit from having a child home with a license (ds probably won't be home much with a license--although maybe next summer. . . .)  That might make it worth it other than the parental duty preparing for adulthood part of it.  I need hands on practical rewards right now for the emotional trauma it induces.

 

Yes...emotional trauma!  I honestly thought that teaching my son to drive would be fun.  Ha ha ha ha ha ha!  (Wipes eyes).  What an innocent I was.  It’s been really horrible emotionally for me.  I am wrung out.

Edited by Garga
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Oh, and we don’t talk.  My son is no where near ready to talk or listen to music while driving.  Driving takes ALL his concentration and wears him out mentally.  We drive in 20 minute segments and sometimes for 30 minutes on a certain road that gets up to 55 mph.

I sit there in silence unless I’m giving him advice on how to handle something coming up in the road, like a particularly sharp turn or an intersection where you have to choose what lane to be in, etc.  Otherwise, it’s silent.  He can’t handle it if I talk about anything else—gets very anxious and can’t focus.

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LOL, I feel for you.  I refused to teach any of ours how to drive, but they all learned to drive the trucks around the pastures when they were around 12 or so.  Driving on the roads was different.  Dh had to oversee that.

I have had to ride along with my nieces.  One is pretty good but the other?  I just scream and get out of the car.

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It will get better over time.  As quiet and natural as you try to be, they will pick up on your nerves, but they will gain confidence with experience.  

We have found that this routine makes it much, much easier to get out on the road with a new driver:

Beginning the day the teen gets their permit, we begin in a large acreage park nearby.  This stage continues over a month or two of mostly Sunday drives.  Relaxing affairs as time goes on while I sip my coffee and talk at random about whatever.  There are multitudinous winding roads, parking lots, and hills.  The teens learn to master the car as a pro before I ever.ever.ever. allow them on a legal road.  This eliminates the stress & fear of traffic.  Then, when I believe they can make tight, smooth turns and pay attention to more than the mechanics of the car, they drive part of the way to the park, then a few weeks later, the full way to the park.  At this point driver's training on the road commences.  Everyone is relatively relaxed.  Although I still keep my hand on the door arm...I gave birth to this driver after all, and I find them driving me innately unnatural.

Learning to drive is like writing.  First there is mastery of the pencil and mechanics of forming letters and words.  Only after the mechanics are automatic can the student confidently express themselves.

The very first lesson each of children has that is repeated a few times a year  (beginning at 13 or 14) is simply to drive 10 feet in a park: letting go of the brake, gently pressing the gas pedal, reapplying the brake, and putting the car in park.  All gently.  Eliminates the 'putting everyone through the windshield when braking' stage.  They are so eager to begin that they follow exact directions.  I know our 16 yo's wouldn't be so directional as those eager young ones.

Edited by Familia
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31 minutes ago, PrincessMommy said:

I wish I could offer advice.  I thought I was the epitome of patience.  My adult children tell me a different story.  😏

And from the other side, my mother just this summer was telling stories of driving with me when I was learning.  I remember that she was a crazy lunatic and I was an awesome beginning driver. LOL  She signed me up with a driving school after 2 tries (my dad absolutely refused to do it.  He said he'd be too anxious.)

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If I had really understood that I was going to have to teach my kids to drive, I probably wouldn't have had any! And my son has had 30 hours of professional driving instruction! He's a pretty good driver, but when I am with him all I can see is potential accident here potential accident there. He gets irritated when I correct. I am having the argument in my head that since I am the parent of another child, it is not okay that I am risking my life to teach someone to drive. Basically it is horrible and I am ill suited for it. I make every excuse not to take him out driving and it has been at least 4 weeks since he has been behind the wheel. Honestly, if I had complete control over the money in the house, I would raid our retirement fund or the college funds to pay for all the private lessons he needed until he was ready to pass the test; and I am usually a do-it-yourselfer and not a spendthrift. But there is that much fear in my gut. 

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Just to clarify this,  Ds wasn’t doing 55mph in his 3rd time driving. Nor the steep, narrow,  curvy guardrails road on his 3rd time out driving.  

It was the 3rd time he has driven that particular steep narrow curvy road that is his favorite, but gives me 🤢.  Dubbed Griffindor Road for requiring courage (though we do have even worse ones). And I don’t seem to be getting more relaxed or less queasy about it with practice. 

We live in rural/country, low mountains area and started on our driveway and in school parking lots after hours.  Ds put in many hours doing driveway and parking lots. 

 

He is taking a professional driver ed.

 Thank God. So helpful.

The professional introduced him to the curvy, steep, windy road ds now loves as part of a std route the professional goes on.  The standard lesson on country driving happens to head toward where we live, but that particular road is one I don’t usually take. (Like, uh, once, twice ever?!?)  so ds had his first time on it with the professional, now 2 times with me as passenger.  

I am also worried though that Ds ‘s student drive partner will be on that road later this week or next week.  Their course works by having one kid drive for an hour while the other observes.

Plus in addition I paid for extra private lessons which is how Ds already did the country drive with the professional—I asked to have a country roads private lesson early because it is what we most need.  

Anyway,   Ds says the other guy is not a good driver.  the professional instructor seems to agree with that and more so apparently thinks that the other kid hasn’t been doing the between lessons required practices. 

 

The professional teacher apparently keeps talking about mostly non drive related things — mainly with an instructor in training who is riding along—and Ds finds this very helpful and relaxing.   And would like me to converse.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, Familia said:

Beginning the day the teen gets their permit, we begin in a large acreage park nearby.  This stage continues over a month or two of mostly Sunday drives.  Relaxing affairs as time goes on will I sip my coffee and talk at random about whatever.  There are multitudinous winding roads, parking lots, and hills.  The teens learn to master the car as a pro before I ever.ever.ever. allow them on a legal road.  This eliminates the stress & fear of traffic.  Then, when I believe they can make tight, smooth turns and pay attention to more than the mechanics of the car, they drive part of the way to the park, then a few weeks later, the full way to the park.  At this point driver's training on the road commences.

I like this approach a lot. Our state requires professional driver’s ed to get a license before 18, and they move them through stages much quicker than I think they should. My dd was taken on a 55mph Road her first drive with them, after only having done quiet neighborhoods with us. They must have all their required drives completed within six weeks of starting, which means the freeway drive happens after only driving 3-4 weeks. We live in an area with very busy roads and a lot of traffic. I find this schedule terrifying and way too fast to move them! At her last professional drive, the instructor told my dd she “needed to get mad” at us and tell us to take her driving more 😠. We’re taking her as often as we possibly can with our current life issues. 4-5 times a week, which I think is pretty darn good. It’s much better than we did with our oldest. 

Anyway, I hate this as well. I’d like to pay someone who doesn’t mind it to take her for all her practice drives. 

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1 hour ago, kand said:

I like this approach a lot. Our state requires professional driver’s ed to get a license before 18, and they move them through stages much quicker than I think they should. My dd was taken on a 55mph Road her first drive with them, after only having done quiet neighborhoods with us. They must have all their required drives completed within six weeks of starting, which means the freeway drive happens after only driving 3-4 weeks. We live in an area with very busy roads and a lot of traffic. I find this schedule terrifying and way too fast to move them! At her last professional drive, the instructor told my dd she “needed to get mad” at us and tell us to take her driving more 😠. We’re taking her as often as we possibly can with our current life issues. 4-5 times a week, which I think is pretty darn good. It’s much better than we did with our oldest. 

Anyway, I hate this as well. I’d like to pay someone who doesn’t mind it to take her for all her practice drives. 

 

We are also in a professional course moving fast through the stages now — also around 6 weeks from parking lot to freeway.  With at least 3 hours practice with parent expected each week (more if possible even better).   

For ours the freeway drive is the last thing before the final week which has a drive test.

If for you freeway is at 3-4 weeks , what is considered harder than the freeway drive? Actually, for ours, getting on the freeway will be —or may be if merging in is needed—hard, but they then drive an easy straight stretch outside of city limits which should be easier than the country roads or downtown days, I think.  Or anyway I expect will be so for my Ds.  There are more difficult areas of freeway that will need to be mastered later on.  

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4 hours ago, Garga said:

Oh, and we don’t talk.  My son is no where near ready to talk or listen to music while driving.  Driving takes ALL his concentration and wears him out mentally.  We drive in 20 minute segments and sometimes for 30 minutes on a certain road that gets up to 55 mph.

I sit there in silence unless I’m giving him advice on how to handle something coming up in the road, like a particularly sharp turn or an intersection where you have to choose what lane to be in, etc.  Otherwise, it’s silent.  He can’t handle it if I talk about anything else—gets very anxious and can’t focus.

 

Mine is not particularly anxious about his own  driving. Usually.  He has one area on the Griffindor Road where he likes quiet so he can concentrate.  Otherwise he is, “Mom, don’t worry, I’m an excellent driver.  Don’t breathe like that.  Just tell me if I’m getting too close to the guard rail.”   🥶.  Or   “Relax, this is still just the uphill part.  It’s the downhill, windy side that is the problem.”    True enough— but I have the whole uphill part to anticipate the down hill - sort of like a rollercoaster without tracks.  

And the talking or classical music  is in part to get me to relax too.    In a year or 2, I expect he will probably be a better driver than I am in many driving environments .   Maybe I can then take the drowsy type of Dramamine and relax

🤔

I wonder if curves type nausea (that I get even if I’m the driver or a passenger with a very experienced driver) and anxiety type nausea are getting cross reactive.  

Maybe non-drowsy ginger type Dramamine would help now.   I don’t think it would solve it my any means, but not adding some motion sickness on to the teen driver part maybe would help. 

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3 hours ago, Kalmia said:

If I had really understood that I was going to have to teach my kids to drive, I probably wouldn't have had any! And my son has had 30 hours of professional driving instruction! He's a pretty good driver, but when I am with him all I can see is potential accident here potential accident there. He gets irritated when I correct. I am having the argument in my head that since I am the parent of another child, it is not okay that I am risking my life to teach someone to drive. Basically it is horrible and I am ill suited for it. I make every excuse not to take him out driving and it has been at least 4 weeks since he has been behind the wheel. Honestly, if I had complete control over the money in the house, I would raid our retirement fund or the college funds to pay for all the private lessons he needed until he was ready to pass the test; and I am usually a do-it-yourselfer and not a spendthrift. But there is that much fear in my gut. 

 

Passing the test is still only a step.   The basics for required for passing it are still pretty limited afaik. 

I am paying for private lessons (not 30 hours as yet, but could imagine getting there!)  as well as the group ones, but I still have to do a lot.    I ‘ve been trying to have him behind the wheel daily or at least with not more than a day gap.  Otherwise, when we were off a whole week, I think he lost  headway, got rusty.

 And I do start to lose some anxiety for some areas he has driven quite a lot, over and over and aren’t rusty, so daily is good for me too.   I do sort have to force myself though.  

I probably could use some days where it’s all relatively familiar and easy for both of us.   It’s unfortunate that his favorite road is a white knuckles one for me.  

Or we need some compromise like he can go home via his favorite road (fewer guard rails / drop offs in return direction), but we go outward bound by another route.   Today we seem to have compromised as I drove the  morning route into city (for his group class) and he’ll probably drive us home. 

 

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DS is actually a very good driver; perhaps a bit overconfident. When he took driver’s ed last year, his instructor went on and on about how calm and methodical he was, and when he took a defensive driving course this summer the instructors positively gushed about his handling skills and wondered in all seriousness if he’d done any motor cross racing (um NO!). I think a lifetime of car obsession played a huge role in understanding the physics behind how a car responds (and so intuitively understanding if the car does X he needs to do Y to correct it, etc). But I think his road cycling and racing experience played an even bigger part in his understanding how to read traffic, how to judge distance and conditions, how to be looking ahead and gauging the road and potential dangers, and so forth. 

But still, being the passenger with a new driver is not like driving with an experienced driver for sure; I admit I was surprised. DS can still take corners too fast (lots of winding hilly roads here) which makes me super nervous, and sometimes his judgement isn’t quite where I think it should be. We live right in town and he doesn’t really have a lot of reasons to drive right now, so while I’m glad he’ll be getting his license soon, I’m also glad he won’t likely be driving too far on his own for awhile. As it was, he’s just recently sent in his paperwork for his test, having put it off for several months after completing his required 70 hours of practice time with his permit. None of us are in a particular hurry, but none of us are positively dreading it either. I’ll surely change my mind the first time he drives my car away without me, though! 

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My DH taught my now 18 year old how to drive.  I was rarely in the car with him as the driver.  I told DH that I homeschooled all the children so he should have some pain with teaching someone something also.  Now that I'm not homeschooling anymore, I'm not sure I have any good excuses.  My now 14 year old will start driver's ed in the summer with next year learning how to drive.  He'll be 17 by the time he gets his license.  I'm in no hurry and he isn't either. I have a feeling he will be a better driver since he is less distractible.  I have three things I don't like about raising children -- potty training, teaching them how to read, and teaching them how to drive.

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I think I put a hole in the brake -pedal part of the passenger side floor.  Ugh.

One thing my son's driving school told us to do as parents was to have the student driver narrate what he was doing.  "I'm turning on my signal and looking over my shoulder, then my mirror, as I am getting ready to change lanes.  I'm watching the road to stay in the center, and now I am checking my speed, then the road, now my side mirrors."  It does two things.  It takes care of the "what do we talk about" issue and it keeps me from talking all the time.  "SLOW DOWN!  THERE'S A CAR ON YOUR RIGHT, ABOUT 3 MILES AHEAD!  HAVE YOU CHECKED YOUR MIRROR LATELY?"  It really was helpful.

it is also helpful that the first time I took my son to drive, we practiced in a parking lot, and when we were done, I resumed control and drove straight into a ditch.   A little humility goes a long way.

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57 minutes ago, bethben said:

My DH taught my now 18 year old how to drive.  I was rarely in the car with him as the driver.  I told DH that I homeschooled all the children so he should have some pain with teaching someone something also.  Now that I'm not homeschooling anymore, I'm not sure I have any good excuses.  My now 14 year old will start driver's ed in the summer with next year learning how to drive.  He'll be 17 by the time he gets his license.  I'm in no hurry and he isn't either. I have a feeling he will be a better driver since he is less distractible.  I have three things I don't like about raising children -- potty training, teaching them how to read, and teaching them how to drive.

See, I’m with Quill and would rather potty train a dozen toddlers than teach one teenager to drive. And I LOVE teaching kids to read. I like your logic with your husband, though. I’m going to use that logic with him this evening 😉.  

I just drove my learning driver home from somewhere and was trying to talk through some scenarios as I encountered them, because I want her to be the driver next time I drive this route, and all I got was “I know, I know” in increasingly exasperated tones. She’s been driving three weeks for a grand total of just under ten hours, and she knows everything.  

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My fourth is about to take his driver's test.  He is a natural at driving, has had his permit since he was 15.5 (turned 18 yesterday) and is an awesome driver.  I really haven't paid much attention to his driving for quite some time now as we were just biding the time until he was 18 and the insurance rates dropped a bit and he was past the requirement of driver's ed training in our state.

BUT, my 15.5 year old got his permit about 3 weeks ago and, oh, boy, he IS NOT a natural driver at all.  I'm already gray and it's a good thing because if I wasn't I would be soon anyway!  Today he drove on country roads for about 10 miles.  I purposely got off the highway to give him a chance to practice.  He was really doing great until we drove into a small town that has several 4-way or 3-way stops.  We get to a 3-way stop behind another car that is stopped.  He stops pretty smoothly, the car in front proceeds through the intersection and so do we - while I'm speaking loudly, "stop, stop STOP".  After we run the stop sign and things are a bit calmer he turns to me and says, "What?".  I know I would have been laughing at someone else's video of the incident but I was not amused.  His explanation was that the other car had already stopped so that applied to him also!  Luckily no other traffic at the intersection.  I almost wish a police man had pulled him over because he needs a lesson in listening to me.  We had a long discussion about what the word "Stop" actually means.  

I may not survive this one!  To his credit, after this incident, I asked him to start talking me through what he was seeing and he complied and actually drove pretty well the rest of the way home.  I'm hoping it sobered him up a bit and reminded him of the importance of listening and thinking all the time while driving.

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Thanks to all who replied.  It helps to know I’m not the only one with this!

I enjoy teaching reading, and find potty training a comparative joy to the driving, I think.   Or at least all that can go wrong on potty training is just a little messy.  No tangled heaps of metal, blood, life and limb type problems.  

The only thing otherwise even close in risk level was high tree climbing.

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Survived another trip on Grim Reaper Hill.   My new name for it.

 DS admits it will be terrifying when the other kid drives it and he’s a passenger.  

DS drove home from city - 45 minutes or so. We had construction zones as more practice events.  

(We talked about vehicles and transmissions.  I’ll probably start a new vehicle thread. ) 

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Maybe I should offer to toilet train some kids in exchange for someone teaching my kids to drive. It’s actually one thing that I rock at and didn’t mind doing. This is not a skill that gets you kudos in real life, nor can you put it on a resume —but if I could barter for it....LOL

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3 hours ago, freesia said:

Maybe I should offer to toilet train some kids in exchange for someone teaching my kids to drive. It’s actually one thing that I rock at and didn’t mind doing. This is not a skill that gets you kudos in real life, nor can you put it on a resume —but if I could barter for it....LOL

This is me as well!! I would SO make a trade with someone! 

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20 hours ago, JanOH said:

His explanation was that the other car had already stopped so that applied to him also!  

Omg! 😂

I think a review of the rules is definitely in order. 

My oldest got her license this summer but she has mostly driven at home. We're tossing some money to a driving school by her university to practice with the hills and curves that do not exist at home. 

We'll probably have about a year before repeating with her sister. One of the most stressful things I've ever done, lol. 

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My most youngest boy couldn't react to "stop". He would need to stop and I would tell him to and then he wouldn't and would just keep cruising towards a hazard. Then I would scream and he would have some answer like "I was going to stop when I got past that house" or whatever. As if "STOP!!!" didn't mean now. 

He is a super smart kid but teaching him to drive was one big illustration of the fact that their brains are not fully developed at 15. His reactions to things weren't just wrong. They didn't even make sense. 

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41 minutes ago, katilac said:

My oldest got her license this summer but she has mostly driven at home. We're tossing some money to a driving school by her university to practice with the hills and curves that do not exist at home. 

 

I like that idea.  If someone is moving to a different driving environment.  

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37 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

My most youngest boy couldn't react to "stop". He would need to stop and I would tell him to and then he wouldn't and would just keep cruising towards a hazard. Then I would scream and he would have some answer like "I was going to stop when I got past that house" or whatever. As if "STOP!!!" didn't mean now. 

He is a super smart kid but teaching him to drive was one big illustration of the fact that their brains are not fully developed at 15. His reactions to things weren't just wrong. They didn't even make sense. 

 

What did you do?  I think I would have stopped and tried again 6 mos later. Or so.  Not stopping for “stop” could be fatal.  

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Driving with my permitted driver this morning made me think of this thread. And, all the things I'd like to say to the people behind us. Like, "Sorry. I know that was rude how we cut you off. I'm actually really, really sorry. I've already //discussed// it in the car here. No need to flip off my 16 year old who, if you looked at them as you floored it, could tell was terrified and I was waving apologetically." And "Oh yes. Tailgating as we drive the speed limit really helps my new driver to be safe and comfortable on this narrow road with a ridiculously high speed limit. And, it definitely inspires us to speed up. Oh. Wait. NEVER!!! Back off, jerk!!" And, "I actually asked them to [insert whatever annoyed you here]. I am here to torture you because there is NOTHING I LOVE MORE than teaching driving. Nothing." 

 

Please be kind to slow drivers. Especially ones in mini vans, or reasonable compact cars with teen drivers and middle aged parents in the passenger seats. Please.

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1 minute ago, FriedClams said:

 Please be kind to slow drivers. Especially ones in mini vans, or reasonable compact cars with teen drivers and middle aged parents in the passenger seats. Please.

We purchased Student Driver magnets from Amazon and plastered them all over the car, lol. 

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59 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

My most youngest boy couldn't react to "stop". He would need to stop and I would tell him to and then he wouldn't and would just keep cruising towards a hazard. Then I would scream and he would have some answer like "I was going to stop when I got past that house" or whatever. As if "STOP!!!" didn't mean now. 

He is a super smart kid but teaching him to drive was one big illustration of the fact that their brains are not fully developed at 15. His reactions to things weren't just wrong. They didn't even make sense. 

dh: "You need to slow down."

dd1 "I'm not speeding"

dh; "The speed limit is 35."

dd: "I know"

dh: (getting louder) "Then why are you going over 35."

dd:" I'm fine. What's your problem?"

 

He made her pull over and get out of the car and he never rode with her again. Why do you think they call it a LEARNER'S PERMIT if they think they already KNOW IT ALL!

 

Everything was "I know."  or "I'm not doing that." 

 

MY second dd was much easier. She truly lacked confidence, but we found it much less annoying to encourage her to speed up a little bit and "You're doing just fine. Good job." Than to hear her older sister tell us how to drive and that she had no idea why we were still there. 

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10 minutes ago, FriedClams said:

Driving with my permitted driver this morning made me think of this thread. And, all the things I'd like to say to the people behind us. Like, "Sorry. I know that was rude how we cut you off. I'm actually really, really sorry. I've already //discussed// it in the car here. No need to flip off my 16 year old who, if you looked at them as you floored it, could tell was terrified and I was waving apologetically." And "Oh yes. Tailgating as we drive the speed limit really helps my new driver to be safe and comfortable on this narrow road with a ridiculously high speed limit. And, it definitely inspires us to speed up. Oh. Wait. NEVER!!! Back off, jerk!!" And, "I actually asked them to [insert whatever annoyed you here]. I am here to torture you because there is NOTHING I LOVE MORE than teaching driving. Nothing." 

 

Please be kind to slow drivers. Especially ones in mini vans, or reasonable compact cars with teen drivers and middle aged parents in the passenger seats. Please.

I had considered making signs that said "I'm sorry, I'm still learning" and tape them up when my teen was driving.

8 minutes ago, katilac said:

We purchased Student Driver magnets from Amazon and plastered them all over the car, lol. 

 Oh, that's even better, I've seen them on cars from the driver's school but never thought about buying them myself.

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1 hour ago, FriedClams said:

Driving with my permitted driver this morning made me think of this thread. And, all the things I'd like to say to the people behind us. Like, "Sorry. I know that was rude how we cut you off. I'm actually really, really sorry. I've already //discussed// it in the car here. No need to flip off my 16 year old who, if you looked at them as you floored it, could tell was terrified and I was waving apologetically." And "Oh yes. Tailgating as we drive the speed limit really helps my new driver to be safe and comfortable on this narrow road with a ridiculously high speed limit. And, it definitely inspires us to speed up. Oh. Wait. NEVER!!! Back off, jerk!!" And, "I actually asked them to [insert whatever annoyed you here]. I am here to torture you because there is NOTHING I LOVE MORE than teaching driving. Nothing." 

 

Please be kind to slow drivers. Especially ones in mini vans, or reasonable compact cars with teen drivers and middle aged parents in the passenger seats. Please.

Sounds like you could be the perfect target market for my "Programmobile" sign. Once perfected, it will be an on-the-fly programmable sign that can be suction-cupped to the car roof like a delivery vehicle sign. The programming remote will come with some preset options, like "none of your brake lights are functional" and "you left something on top of your car", but it will allow you to program your own messages also, with scrolling as an option.

Perhaps this is the answer for all of you! You can relax in the passenger seat and type out new messages for all the surrounding cars, "Sorry about that yield, we're working on it!" "Thanks for the road rage demo for my new driver" "Student driver coming up behind you!"

I wonder if Daktronic will be interested in partnering...

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4 hours ago, katilac said:

We purchased Student Driver magnets from Amazon and plastered them all over the car, lol. 

 

I did this too—or at least one back, one front, one each side.    I do think it helps!    Some.  Drivers  may need to be closely tailgating before sign is visible.    A couple didn’t stick well and fell off though. 

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Ds drove home from city again today.  He did not take the route I hate.

 I took ginger, B vitamins, Inositol, and NAC before the drive.  

I was still holding the door handle in part, but really it was all fine.  

And he did great with pedestrians, bikes, road work areas, and such curvy and narrow areas as we had on this route.  So much better than the other route.  

I do feel when he’s up for it more —not crabby— that I need to talk with him more about the physics of slowing before curves, not in them.   

 

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6 hours ago, katilac said:

We purchased Student Driver magnets from Amazon and plastered them all over the car, lol. 

We have them all over our car, but have recently decided it seems like drivers are much more aggressive around us when we have them on. They tail gate and pass me when they’re on much more than when they’re off. What’s up with that?

6 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

dh: "You need to slow down."

dd1 "I'm not speeding"

dh; "The speed limit is 35."

dd: "I know"

dh: (getting louder) "Then why are you going over 35."

dd:" I'm fine. What's your problem?"

 

He made her pull over and get out of the car and he never rode with her again. Why do you think they call it a LEARNER'S PERMIT if they think they already KNOW IT ALL!

 

Everything was "I know."  or "I'm not doing that." 

 

MY second dd was much easier. She truly lacked confidence, but we found it much less annoying to encourage her to speed up a little bit and "You're doing just fine. Good job." Than to hear her older sister tell us how to drive and that she had no idea why we were still there. 

Your oldest is my second dd’s twin. Ive thought that for years every time you post about her, and this is uncanny. This is precisely the source of her argument with me both yesterday and today. She “knows” everything. 

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Just a funny little story. My oldest is almost 12. My parents live about 14 hours away. They said the last time they were here that it would be so great when my oldest turns 16, because he could drive to their house. Both my husband and I looked at them like they were crazy. "Oh, not by himself" they assured us, "but you can come with him and take turns driving. Y'know, so you can sleep while he's driving" Seriously, this might be the onset of dementia. I was thinking "This child? The one who has zero impulse control and NO common sense? The one who can't focus?" Somehow, I don't see it working out like they envision. 

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